Chapter 16: Rescues and Reunions
Avian kept a watch on the navigational device seeing a small fleet of cruisers getting ready to dock. "There's our chance to land without being noticed. They haven't upgraded their ships much. Those look pretty much like the one we're flying. We can't cloak or the radar will notice it. We'll wait for our shot to blend in with the other ships. That shouldn't raise too much suspicion." He said.
"What are we going to do when we land? Once we're out of this piece of junk they're gonna know we're not part of the military." Kezrin grumbled.
"We kick their asses, that's what." Avian replied with a smirk.
"We're here to rescue King Danzar, not to have a blood bath. Let's not risk more violence than is necessary." Genar reprimanded.
"Genar, you gotta lighten up." Avian said rolling his eyes.
"We'll hide here on the ship and wait for a few guards. When no one exits the vessle they'll get suspicious and come looking for us. When that happens, we take them down, take their clothes and get them out of site. Then we get into the castle and make our way to the dungeons. We'll have to play our roles until we find King Danzar." Genar instructed.
"That ought to be simple enough. Only one problem. I'm gonna stick out like a sore thumb." Avian grumbled. "Not to mention our hair is too long to wear under those damn helmets."
"I've got you covered." Genar said tossing Avian a small round container. "Smear that on as best you can. You'll look like any other guard. As for your hair, just tuck it under the helmet and make it look as inconspicious as possible." Genar replied.
"We're getting ready to land." Kezrin stated. "Let's do this." He finished.
In the prison cell, Danzar, Lotor and Kaladan waited to meet their fates. Though the hours had passed quickly, Lotor felt like they seemed to go on forever. He could not feel shock, anger or sadness anymore. All he felt was numb. Danzar looked at his son seeing the almost blank expression on his face. It was a staggering amount of information for one person to take in at once. Lotor sat in a corner of the cell isolating himself from his father and Kaladan. He was still trying to process all he'd learned and wondering what else had been hidden from him.
"Lotor," Kaladan called. "Are you all right?"
"I don't know." The white haired druel answered flatly.
"It's all been a shock for him. And there's still a great deal he needs to know." Danzar replied.
"We have to find away out of this, or it isn't going to matter." Kaladan stated.
"What else is there? How much more can there be?" Lotor asked still keeping his distance.
"After you were stolen from me, I went after Zarkon to get you back. Unwisely I went alone. I didn't want anyone else getting hurt or killed because I failed to protect you. I was captured upon site and locked away in here. At first Zarkon wanted to kill you and force me to watch, but he decided he had a much worse fate in store. He would raise you as his own son and use that knowledge to break my spirit. Then...when I finally begged for death he would have you be my executioner. But when you met Allura, his plans began to unravel." Danzar explained.
"Allura..." Lotor said quietly. "How do you know of her?" He asked.
"I knew her father, King Alfor." Danzar answered.
"You knew Allura's father?" Lotor asked stunned.
"Yes. After I exiled Zarkon from Namoria I knew he would make good on his promise to get revenge. While we had weapons to protect ourselves from minor attacks, we had yet to develop any major defense. It was then I heard of stories told throughout the galaxy spoke of a planet threatened by Zarkon's lust for domination. It was then I learned about King Alfor and an ultimate defender made to defend the people of Arus."
Lotor's eyes widened. "You mean Voltron?"
"Yes. I and members of the royal family traveled to planet Arus. Your mother had to stay behind as she was pregnant with you and your sister. We met with King Alfor and his queen. At first they were relunctant to welcome us. Druels had a bad reputation throughout the galaxy and Alfor was not sure if we were friend or foe. But when he saw we were unarmed and meant no ill toward him, he allowed us to land on Arus and meet with him and his advisors. We came to discuss an alliance between Namoria and Arus."
"It would have alligned Arus and Namoria not only to bring together our knoweldge and technology, but we hoped to inspire other planets to do the same and rise up against Zarkon. But that alliance never had a chance to form. Zarkon took you away from me, and then later killed King Alfor. That effectively put any dreams of an alliance between our worlds out of the picture. You see son, we intended to unite our planets and people through marriage. The first born children of myself and Alfor would have been betrothed at birth. You were my first born son and Alfor had a daughter."
Lotor's eyes, as if they could not have gotten any wider, were like saucers. How much more shock could he take. He looked at his father not able to utter a word. Danzar knew from his son's expression that he knew now what his father was getting at.
"Yes Lotor, you and Allura were to be betrothed at birth. You both would have grown up together, known each other's worlds and people. But Zarkon ended that when he kidnapped you and later killed Allura's father. There was no hope of an alliance then. And when I was taken prisoner, all hope seemed to be lost forever. But that was not the end of it. Your uncle feared the prophecy of your grandfather. An heir would carry his spirit into battle to end Zarkon's reign once and for all. So after you and I were in his grasp, he had the royal family massecred...down to the last child. He wanted to make sure there would be no one of Keltor's line left to fullfill the prophecy. A chambermaid managed to sneak a message to me that Leena was safe after she'd found a way onto planet Doom. Sadly it was the last news I would ever hear of my daughter's safety. Leena had been hidden deep within the castle where Zarkon's assasins could not reach. But all others were wiped out. And feeling Namoria was no longer a threat, he went ahead with his agenda to raise you as his son." Danzar explained.
"Bastard..." Lotor growled.
Allura sat in her room. It was where she stayed after being sternly reprimanded by Nanny. Tears fell from her eyes as she wept. Her pet mice tried to do anything they could to cheer her up, but nothing worked. There was no comforting her heart after what had happened. "I should never have gone alone. Lotor and Kaladan are going to die, and it's all my fault!" She sobbed.
Her mice chattered and wiggled their whiskers trying to make her happy, but it was to no avail. It got to the point where the little rodents began to cry themselves. Allura felt more helpless than she ever had before. Now she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt Lotor loved her. He had risked his own life for her sake. That stabbed at her heart like a red hot poker. It was the worst pain she could ever feel. Just when they were getting close, now they'd been unjustly parted. And that parting would likely last forever.
"I feel so helpless. Nanny and Coran have me followed wherever I go. Keith and the others don't let me out alone. If only I could get to the blue lion...but they'll all stop me. I feel like there's no hope left." She said with a shaky voice.
"There is still hope daughter of Alfor." Said a voice.
"What? Who said that? How can there be hope?" Allura asked both skeptical and afraid.
"You must have faith in your destiny daughter of Alfor." The voice said again.
"My destiny?" Allura asked, but she was met with only silence.
"Wait...who are you? What do you mean my destiny?" She asked again, but heard no reply. It left her feeling confused. She knew only that the voice had not been that of her father.
She looked down at her pillow now soaked with her tears. She saw her mice gathering around her face trying their hardest to dry her eyes. She looked down, her expression sullen. "Please, please don't let them die. Don't let them die like this." She said silently praying to whatever angel of mercy would hear her.
Back on Doom, the time was soon approaching for the executions. Preperations were almost finished in the arena. A large vertical rack was being constructed in the center of the grounds. All around the stands were huge view screens. Their purpose most likely to broadcast the executions as entertainment for Zarkon's courtiers and subjects. But they were also to act as a grizzly warning to any who dared to defy Zarkon's authority and the authority of the empire. The stands were already packed with the king's subjects. His most valued guests would take their places in the king's sky box along with himself and Queen Coralle. Slaves continued construction of the torture device until it was finished. It stood at a great heigth, almost twenty feet tall. The method of execution would be simple, but still quite gruesome to those who would witness its use. Its purpose was to slowly tear the victim apart. But Zarkon decided to add his own gruesome touch to the contraption. He would also have the victim restrained by the neck as well. So in addition to the arms and legs being slowly ripped from the torso, the head would also be torn off as well. Indeed it would be a horrofying and bloody spectacle.
Zarkon and his entourage soon entered the sky box with the king taking his seat first. Coralle sat beside him on a smaller but no less ornate throne. Sylvana took her place at a protective stance beside the queen. Haggar took her place in a huddled stance beside Zarkon. She leaned on her walking staff as she expressed an evil smile upon her grotesque face. Then the king and queen's advisors and highest of nobles took their places around the royal couple. Around them were the hoards of courtiers pumping their fists in the air demanding to see agony and blood. They would soon have their appetite's satiated. A small unit of guards led a struggling slave to the imposing rack. He was dressed in only a crude loin cloth. Dragging him up a large flight of stairs the guards restrained him as he was bound hand and foot to the device. Then a crude noose was put around his neck. After securing him, the guards quickly departed leaving the slave screaming and begging for his life. An ogre like creature stood beside the wrack waiting for the signal to begin the test. He wore a hood to hide his rather disturbing facial features. Upon the left side of the rack was a button. When he was given permission, the executioner pushed the button and the device began to perform its deadly task.
Still screaming, the prisoner hung loosely in his restraints until the ropes began to move. As they tightened he was slowly raised to the middle of the rack. Zarkon and his queen looked on with blood lust in their eyes. He looked to his queen noticing the pleased look upon his face. "Are you enjoying yourself my dear?" He asked.
"Very much my king. Thank you for allowing me to wittness this. I want our child to know the pleasures of wittnessing the pain of others even before it is born. It will make him a very effective ruler. Don't you agree my king?" Coralle asked with a viperous smile.
"Yes, very much. I've chosen my queen well." The king said with a venoumous grin of his own.
All watched eagerly as the ropes began to stretch and tighten pulling the condemned into the shape of an x. For a few moments he was able to scream, but this time not in terror, but in pain. He felt arms begining to stretch upward and outward and his legs did the same. His head was also pulled at a straight angle while he felt his ability to breathe becoming hindered. Then the ropes stopped for a second. This was to let the prisoner feel both pain and panic surging all through his body. He could barely breathe and he felt his chest cavity begining to stretch beyond it's limits. He fought to take in breaths of air but his lungs could not take in the life giving oxygen. It was hard for him to struggle as the ropes had already become periously tight. Then they began to tighten once more. The prisoner felt his wrists popping out of their sockets as did his elbows. His shoulders simutainiously dislocated and stretched into an unnatural position. His heel bones began to seperate from the ligmanents and tissues that held them in place. Then his knee bones popped out of their sockets and his upper legs dislocated from his pelivic region. He tried to scream, but his neck was also being stretched disabling his vocal cords. The only sign of his distress was visible. His face was twisted in an expression of pain and horror as he realized he was about to die a grizzly death. The ropes continued to slowly tighten pulling his skeleton further out of alignment until the skin began to tear. Blood started spurting from his shoulders and hips as his inner body began to give way. Blood began to bubble out of his mouth as the skin of his neck also began to tear. Little by little his body was slowly stretched and torn until his extremities and head were torn from his torso.
The hoards of onlookers cheered and howled wildly as the bloody torso and head fell to the ground. The extremities still hanged by the ropes with blood dripping off their now jagged pieces of skin and flesh. Zarkon looked on with murderous glee as slaves were pushed toward the rack to begin cleaning up the vile mess. They riggled their noses as they had to inhale the stench of blood, and bodily fluids excreted during the condemned's final agonizing moments. While they were filled with revulsion at having to clean up the body of a fellow slave, they dared not fail in their task lest they be the next unlucky test subject.
Sylvana looked on with a satisfied smile. "Your method of execution is quite entertaining King Zarkon. Might I be allowed to have a smaller version of this device put in the dungeons? I'd like to see such exhilarating suffering up close and personal." She asked humbly.
"You are a twisted and wicked woman Sylvana. I'm growing quite fond of you. After the birth of my heir I will be sure to have one constructed for your personal use." Zarkon answered.
"You are too generous your majesty. And may I say you've made a wise choice to have Coralle as your queen. I'm sure she will make a fine mother to your offspring." Sylvana complimented.
"That she shall." He said and looked down at the guards. "Go, and bring the traitors!" He barked.
The guards bowed and quickly departed the arena toward the dungeons.
In the dungeons Genar, Kezrin and Avian searched the cells looking for their king. Avian continued to fidget with the helmet he wore under his long black hair. He also had to supress the urge to scratch his face. "I can't wait to get this shit off. Making my skin choke." He cursed.
"Nothing else was available. Now keep your voice down. There are other guards down here and if you keep talking they're going to be alerted to their presence." Genar quietly chided.
"Fine by me. I've been waiting to put my foot up someone's ass anyway." Avian grumbled.
"Someone needs anger management." Kezrin sighed.
"You know how well that worked. He isn't allowed back in the program." Genar said quietly.
"I hated that group." Avian growled.
"Well, they weren't exactly pleased with you either. And the therapist had to go into anger management himself after dealing with you." Kezrin replied.
"Yah, I think my middle finger in his face had something to do with it." Avian answered with a smirk.
To that Genar could only sigh and shake his head. "Enough. Let's focus on the task at hand." He said sternly.
The three druels silenced themselves and continued their search for Danzar. Upon stopping at a side wall cell the three noticed a small unit of guards heading toward the last cell at the end of the hall. Genar pushed his two cousins against a dark corner so they wouldn't be seen. He watched as the guards opened the door and entered. While they were preoccupied, he signaled for Avian and Kezrin to follow him. They quickly but quietly rushed toward the cell. They hid on behind the door while it was opened. Genar peered out from a corner of the door and saw the guards ushering out three prisoners with their hands bound behind their backs.
"I've found the king, but there are two others with them. Both are druel. One..." Genar stopped seeing a glimpse of Lotor as he passed by the door.
"What is it?" Avian whispered.
"The white haired druel, he looks very familiar." Genar answered.
"Damn...he does look like..." Avian began but was suddenly cut off.
"Let's get going. The guards are leaving us behind." Kezrin said pushing his two cousins ahead. They silently fell in behind the unit trying to get closer to Danzar. The prisoners remained silent upon their walk from the dungeons to the arena. While they had no idea how Zarkon intended to dispatch them, all were sure it would not be pleasant.
"Why the hell aren't we doing something? We've got the guards right here. Let's just knock them out and be done with it." Kezrin told Genar telepathically.
"Because if we act now then we'd have the suspicion of the entire castle raised. And if we do that we're going to be vastly outnumbered and most likely fail to rescue Danzar and his comrades. We have to wait until we have an open shot." Genar answered mentally.
The guards led the condemned prisoners onward until they reached the entrance to the arena floor. Danzar was the first to be shoved through the entrance. His eyes widened when he saw the rack still splattered with blood. Those closest to the thing could still scent the stench of death in the air. Lotor came next followed by Kaladan. They were harshly shoved toward the contraption. Menacing as it was, all three refused to show fear. Knowing Zarkon would love to see them beg and plead for their lives, non were about to give him the satisfaction. They'd die without fear on their faces, even unto their last breaths. Lotor looked up to see the smiling face of his uncle.
The wicked king began to speak. Amplifiers were turned on so that he was sure all would hear him. "My subjects! Esteemed nobles and territories of the druel empire! You shall all witness the executions of three traitors who have turned their backs on our beloved empire! And you shall also witness the ultimate weapon! The weapon that shall ensure the preservation and prosperity of the empire for all time!" Zarkon beamed triumphantly.
"Yes...even you condemned souls shall have the honor of looking upon my greatest creation." Haggar cackled.
Danzar, Lotor and Kaladan looked to one of the huge screens seeing what appeared to be a huge container covered by a black curtain. The curtain dropped revealing a terrifying creature roaring and writhing in its destruction proof tank.
"Behold! The dragon of Azrinos!" Haggar exclaimed.
Upon the screen all gasped in awe and fear as they saw the menacing creature. A huge dragon writhed and roared within the huge tank. It's body, originally black, now shined with dark grey mettalic armor. It stood upon it's powerful legs and stretched out its steely grey wings. Fire burned within its serpentine eyes and rows of razor sharp teeth glittered in it's monstrous mouth. Its roar was deafening to all who heard it. Upon its belly were rows of greyish green scales rising up its stout neck. It's triangular head sported three sets of horns. The longest set grew along each side of the monster's head spiraling upward ending in deadly points. The second set shot straight and rested upon the beasts forehead. The third set protruded above its nostrils and were the shortest of the three sets. A row of razor sharp plates protruded from its back going from the top of the head all the way down to the bottom of its tail. The bottom of the tail was covered in sharp spikes. Upon its ankles and wrists were more sharp plates. Upon its fingers and toes were long, razor sharp claws. It was indeed a terrifying site.
"You fool!" Danzar exclaimed. "You've raised a demon from hell itself! That monster was sealed away for a reason! There's no way you can control it!"
"The beast will be completely under my control, and soon all who stand in the way of King Zarkon will fall!" Haggar proclaimed.
"What is that thing?" Lotor asked.
"The dragon of Azrinos. It was so powerful and evil that it was sealed away upon the planet Azrinos. It is believed to be a creation of the darkest powers, and now Haggar has resurrected it. That foolish old witch thinks she can control that beast, but it will be as it was before. The monster is too wild for even her to control." Danzar said.
"That thing will be the death of us all if it isn't stopped." Kaladan replied.
Zarkon looked on with anticipation at the huge monstrosity upon the screen. Then he looked down and made a slashing motion across his throat. That was the signal for the executions to begin. The guards grabbed Danzar and began to force him toward the rack. Lotor and Kaladan began to struggle as they watched their comrade being dragged toward his death. Zarkon's face lit up with glee seeing the fear in the eyes of his prisoners. Though it was not for themselves that they feared. Lotor was about to watch his true father be torn to pieces before his very eyes. He knew all too well what that rack was used for. While he'd never witnessed its use, he heard stories of the gruesome practice of its use.
"Father!" He shouted as he struggled against the grip of the guards.
"Do not show him fear my son! No matter what happens to me, show him no fear!" Danzar yelled as he was taken up the steps.
Their fear turned to rage as they glared at Zarkon. That only served to please him even further. He relished the thought of their last moments spent in sheer agony. So focused was he that he didn't notice one of the guards reaching into the sides of his utility belt. Pulling out two dagger like weapons, he aimed at the two guards as they unbound Danzar and prepared to tie him to the rack. With deadly accuracy he threw the daggers at the two soldiers. As Danzar prepared to be lashed to the rack, the two guards suddenly fell dead on their faces. The two daggers protruding out the back of their necks.
Zarkon's glee suddenly turned to rage as he saw the guards fall. "What the hell is this?" He barked.
The dagger tossing guard pulled off his helmet revealing his deep garnet colored hair. Two other guards also threw off their helmets, one with deep purple hair and the other with raven black locks. They knocked out the soldiers guarding Lotor and Kaladan.
"Kezrin, you untie these two. I'll handle the guards." Avian yelled as he punched one soldier in the gut. Kezrin reached on the sides of his belt and unbound two crescent shaped hand blades. Gripping the leather handles which were similary shaped, he got behind Lotor and Kaladan quickly slicing the ropes binding their hands.
"Come on!" He yelled.
Though they didn't know what to think, Lotor and Kaladan ran behind Kezrin while Avian held off the coming soldiers. They ran toward Danzar and the garnet haired druel who saved him. Kezrin quickly ran up the steps and freed Danzar from his bonds. "My name is Genar. I and my two cousins are descendents of your father Keltor. We've come to save you and bring you back to Namoria."
"I'm not the only one you must bring back. My son is alive. He's Leena's twin brother, Lotor." Danzar said as he rushed down the steps.
"That would explain the resemblence!" Genar shouted as he ran down the steps himself. "I'm sorry I don't have time for more proper introductions. The black haired druel is Avian, and the one with purple hair is Kezrin. Come on! There are more soldiers coming!" Genar shouted.
The six druels quickly huddled close together, weapons drawn and ready for battle. The soldiers rushed into the arena surrounding them at all corners. In the sky box Zarkon ranted and roared his displeasure while elite guards surrounded Coralle to keep her safe. Sylvana ordered them to take her away through a secret entrance back into the castle. Haggar looked down noticing Kezrin in the center of group of rouges.
"Impossible! How could he have survived?" She cackled angrily.
Kezrin looked up seeing Haggar's displeased facial features surrounded by the hood of her cloak. His eyes flashed seeing her and a light began to eminiate from his body.
"Get behind me!" He shouted as the light began to grow. Dazar and the others huddled in close behind him as he ordered. They all watched in amazement as the light from his body began to grow bigger and glow brighter as the soldiers charged toward him. Kezrin drew his left arm back with his hand open and spread wide, fingers tightening as he focused the energy.
"Close your eyes!" He shouted. He thrust his raised hand foward turning the huge glowing orb into a gigantic flash of light blinding the soldiers. They fell to their knees covering their heads and crying out in pain. Lotor opened his eyes seeing every soldier on the ground writhing and furiously rubbing at his eyes trying to recover vision. Danzar and the others also opened their eyes to see the attack was sucessful. Amazingly, Kezrin had remained unaffected by the blast of light.
"Way to go Kez!" Avian yelled as he grabbed an Earth style lazer gun from his belt. "Damn, I can't wait to get out of this damn monkey suit!" He barked as he started shooting at the guards who recovered their sight.
"Several soldiers are still disabled. Grab whatever weapons you can." Danzar instructed.
"What the hell is this! I'm surrounded by fools and incompetents!" Zarkon roared.
Kaladan and Lotor both grabbed swords from fallen guards as did Danzar. "Here comes another round!" Lotor shouted.
"Good! I've been itching for a good fight ever since we left Taebos!" Kaladan barked as a new batch of soldiers flooded into the arena. The other guards previously blinded began to recover their wits and joined their bretheren. Kaladan smirked as the guards came rushing at him. He raised his sword and charged foward roaring like a wild animal. Limbs and heads began to fly as he swung his blade at anything that moved toward him. But Lotor wasn't about to be left out of the chaos. He had a lot of pent up frustration to vent out himself, and what better way to do it than with the lazon sword he now held in his hand.
"Come on! Give me all you've got you bastards!" He yelled as he met the onslaught blazing the air with his sword. Chests were slashed, throats sliced, and limbs were quickly severed at the prince's hands. It was a reminder to the soldiers whom he once commanded just how dangerous a swordsman he was.
But as they fled from Lotor and Kaladan, now they faced Danzar. While he was not as young as his son, nephews and comrade, he was still formidable with a blade. While it didn't please him to take the lives of others, he would do whatever was needed to protect the remains of his family. He took down the foes that charged toward him. Genar and Kezrin went back to back facing charging soldiers from both directions. Kezrin crossed his arms and slashed the throats of two guards with his hand blades, while Genar stabbed and slashed at his foes. Zarkon watched in absolute disbelief as the body count quickly grew.
"Let's get the hell out of here! We've got a ship waiting in the hanger of the castle!" Kezrin shouted.
"Yah, now let's hope we can get there with our asses in one piece!" Avian yelled.
The six fought their way through the guards making their way into the stands heading toward the skybox. Noticing Coralle made her escape through the secret entrance, that would be how they made their exit as well. Kaladan looked into the skybox and noticed his ragged edged broadsword was hanging next to Zarkon's throne. There too were Lotor's twin swords in a criss crossed fashion next to Kaladan's sword. The six made their way through the hordes of screaming onlookers. Many ended up shoved violently to the ground so the six druels could reach their destination. Zarkon, seeing them heading in his direction rose from his throne. Haggar too hobbled to make a hasty exit from the skybox.
"HAGGAR!" Kezrin roared seeing his old enemy.
"Kezrin no! You're not strong enough to fight her yet!" Genar shouted.
Ignoring Genar's pleas Kezrin focused upon the skybox determined to blast Haggar into the next galaxy. He curled his hand into a half fist with a ball of light glowing from it. Then he drew back and shot the orb in Haggar's direction. The blast hit the skybox but Haggar escaped just as the energy ball hit. Zarkon however, was not as lucky. He was knocked to the ground disoriented. What remained of his elite guard surrounded him to keep him safe. Kezrin stumbled after feeling the energy drained from his body after his attack against Haggar. Genar ran to his side and helped him regain his footing.
"You and Avian are going to put me in an early grave." He scolded sternly.
"Come on! The king's down. Now's our chance to grab our weapons." Kaladan replied.
He and his companions rushed toward the skybox jumping over whatever obstacles were in their way. They climbed through the stands until they reached the edge of the sky box. Genar took a small harpoon like device from his belt. He shot it upward toward the sky box. The harpoon landed and planted itself against the edge of the railing. He planted the other end of the rope to the edge of one of the stair like stands. Making sure the device was secure, he grabbed the a small wrist band connected to a zipline. Pressing a button on the device, it carried him to the skybox. Boosting himself over the railing he noticed Zarkon was still oblivious to what was going on around him for the moment. He sent the zip line back down to bring up his comrades. One by one, each of the remaining five was lifted to the skybox, Danzar being the first and Avian being the last. Lotor grabbed his twin swords while Kaladan reclaimed his broadsword.
Lotor called tossed Danzar one of his own blades. Catching the weapon, Danzar took his place beside his son. He began to move when he felt a clawed hand grab his ankle. Zarkon had recovered his site and grabbed Danzar determined to bring him down. Danzar swung his blade across Zarkon's face slashing into his right eye. The old king howled in pain and released Danzar's ankle. Clutching at his face, Zarkon flailed about as blood poured from the newly made wound in his face. But he was bound and determined not to let his enemies get away. He clumsily lunged at Lotor aiming his gold clawed sceptor straight at his nephew's head. Danzar again struck this time impaling Zarkon throught the right shoulder. This time the old king went down and did not make further attempts to attack. Danzar looked down at Zarkon for a moment. There was a part of him that felt pity for the old king that had once been his brother. But there was also a part of him that knew the brother he'd grown up with had long since died.
"I found the exit. Let's get the hell out of here." Avian called.
The six druels began exiting the sky box. Lotor turned for a moment and looked back at Zarkon. All he saw was hatred, and complete malice. Unlike his true father, Lotor felt no pity for his uncle. He was a monster that destroyed so many lives, and the suffering he now dealt with was well deserved.
"You little bastard! I raised you! I called you my son!" Zarkon hissed.
"Your son is dead, and he will stay that way. I've found my true family, and you will never have a place in it." Lotor replied coldly and headed toward the exit leaving Zarkon spitting curses in both druel and terran language. Soldiers poured into the sky box to see to the king. Instead of focusing on the escaping rebels, they put their energies into getting the king to safety. Many of them ended up on the floor as a result of the king's wrath. While he was blinded in one eye, his rage was no less potent. While they battled to get the king stablelized, Danzar and his crew raced through the secret passage into the castle. Coralle and Sylvana had long since made their escape. Haggar too was no where to be found.
As soon as they made it into the castle they were met by more guards, and as before, those guards fell. But knowing they couldn't take on the entire castle, the six made their way to the hanger where their cruiser was waiting. Unfortunately, the cruiser was surrounded by Zarkon's robotic soldiers.
"Oh this is just fucking wonderful!" Avian cursed.
Lotor turned to Kaladan with a wicked smirk. "Feel like putting that sword of yours to good use?" He asked.
"Absolutely." Kaladan said tapping the blade against his hand. With a warning swing he marched towards the soldiers dodging their lazer fire while his comrades scattered to give him backup. The robot guards charged toward Kaladan only to lose their heads and have their rifles hacked to pieces. It didn't take long for Kaladan to effectively neutralize most of the soldiers. Those that remained were cut down by Lotor and his kin. Afterwards the six druels boarded the cruiser and prepared to leave.
"Let's get this thing out of here before they blast us to the four winds." Genar said as everyone got seated and strapped in.
"Everybody in?" Avian asked checking the view screen.
"We're ready." Danzar answered.
As hordes of soldiers poured into the hanger, the ship started to lift off the floor. All they could do was shoot their rifles at the ship as it lifted off the floor and prepared to rocket out of the hanger. The massive doors to the hanger began to close. The six passengers looked at each other wondering what they were going to do now.
"Don't worry bout the hanger doors. Leave those to me." Kezrin said.
"You sure you can handle this?" Avian asked.
"I can handle it. Just be ready to get us out of here when I give the word." Kezrin answered as he closed his eyes. Focusing upon the hanger doors, a light began to eminate from his body. It outlined him like a full body halo. The others looked on in amazement as the doors suddenly stopped and began to reverse.
"I can't hold the doors open for long. Get us out of here." Kezrin said straining against the force of his powers.
"You got it." Avian said shoving a lever forward rocketing the cruiser out of the hanger. As they shot from the landing bay the light from Kezrin's body suddenly vanished and he slumped foward.
"Kezrin? You all right back there?" Avian asked.
"I'll be fine. I'm just feeling drained, that's all." Kezrin answered.
"You need to take it easy once we get back to Namoria. You've got to be more careful Kezrin. It's been a while since you've used your powers." Genar replied.
"I've never seen a druel who could do that." Lotor said.
"Kezrin is unique among druels. He inherited these powers from his mother. But he doesn't use them unless he has to. He had a run in with Haggar some time back. He won the dual she challenged him too, but it almost cost him his life. He had to be put into hybernation sleep for over a year. It was the only way to save his life. He's harbored ill against Haggar ever since." Genar explained.
"Damned witch. I almost had her too." Kezrin growled.
"Let it go Kezrin. The time will come when you can take her on again, but not right now." Genar replied.
"You...you three are related to my grandfather?" Lotor asked.
"Yes. We're all grandsons of Keltor. Along with princess Leena, we're the last of his line. Zarkon wiped out everyone else. Our parents, our uncles and aunts, our other cousins, everyone we knew are gone." Genar answered.
"And you are the lost son of our king, Danzar." Kezrin said wearily.
"Yes. My friend Kaladan and I were captured by a woman working for my uncle. We were brought back to planet Doom as prisoners. That's where I learned the truth about my real father and my family." Lotor replied.
"Something told me you were part of our family when I saw you being led out of the dungeons. Your resemblence to Keltor is amazing." Genar said.
"I saw a brief glimpse of him in a dream I had. I saw his death at the hands of my uncle." The young prince stated.
"It was no mere dream. Our grandfather has spoken to those of us who remain in one way or another. He came to us speaking of the prophecy. He spoke of an heir, a descendent who will carry his spirit into battle against Zarkon. Naturally, princess Leena assumed it would be her father Danzar who would be chosen. That's when we knew the time had come to make our way to planet Doom to rescue him." Genar replied.
"It is not me Genar. I've not the strength to pass the test. There is only one here who can face the challenge to claim Keltor's spirit." Danzar explained and then looked straight at his son. Lotor's eyes widened when he realized what his father was eluding to.
"Yes my son. You are the one who can carry Keltor's spirit into battle. You are the one who can face the challenge and claim the spirit of your grandfather. You are the only one who can grant him the eternal peace he has not been able to find himself." Danzar answered.
"How do you know I'm the one? My grandfather was noble and strong. If anything, I've been a blight upon his name. I followed in my uncle's footsteps just as he wanted me to. It was only when I met Allura that I began to change my way of thinking, and even then, I was too damn stubborn to realize how I felt for her. I brought her and her people nothing but pain and misery. I'm not worthy of carrying anyone's spirit let alone my grandfather's." Lotor said lowering his head.
"You and your grandfather are very much alike. Remember that at one time he too thought as you did. He brought civilizations to their knees all in the name of the empire. And like you, it was a woman who helped him realize how wrong his actions were. It was Loeena who made him see the suffering of those around him. Through her, he began to realize he was not adding to the prosperity of the empire. He was sending young men to their deaths and driving innocent people to their knees. And when his eyes were opened to the etrocities he was helping to create, he turned away from that life and never looked back. But his greatest downfall was never reconciling his past. He was haunted by the lives destroyed at his hands. The death of his sister in law Namora haunted him the rest of his life. He was slain by his own son, and many more died at the hands of that very son. He has carried guilt upon his soul and cannot find peace.. Even after renouncing the empire, the darkness of his past hovered over him like a dark cloud, and instead of reconciling with it. He tried to repress it, and hide it from all he loved. And it took the form of your uncle, Zarkon. You must not make the same mistake Keltor made. You must make peace with yourself." Danzar explained.
"I hate to break up the father and son moment, but we got company." Avian said pointing to the cruiser's screen.
"Zarkon's sending fighters after us." Genar replied pointing to the screen
"Hang on! I'm gonna try to shake em off!" Avian yelled as he prepared for evasive manuvers. A fleet of small fighters raced behind Avian and his crew. Lines of lazer fire shot out from the vessles trying to shoot down the escaping cruiser. The ship zig zaged and made quick up and down manuvers dodging the barrage of shots. Lotor and the others felt the straps of their safety belts press hard against their chests and stomachs as they were jostled about by Avian's manuvering.
"Hang on!" Avian yelled as he pulled the navigational bar backwards. The ship shot straight upward and looped once ending up behind the small fighter unit.
"Warn me when you do that again." Genar said hanging onto the arms of his seat.
"Hang on cause things are about to get interesting." Avian said smirking as he pushed a button revealing a small key pad.
"Avian, what are you about to do?" Genar asked with a worried look on his face.
"Oh, I'm just gonna try out the upgrades I made to this cruiser." Avian answered calmly.
"You didn't tell me you made upgrades to the cruiser." Genar said somewhat sternly.
"More importantly, I didn't tell them either." Avian said as he shot the vessle right into the middle of the fleet.
"What the hell are you doing? We're in the killing fields!" Kaladan shouted.
"Surprise!" Avian shouted punching the big red button in the middle of the key pad. Small cannons shot out of the walls of the cruiser and began simutainiously firing. Taking the navigational bar, Avian began spinning the ship counter clock wise letting missles fire from the cannons shooting every fighter that surrounded the cruiser. After just a few rotations the small fleet had been completely destroyed.
"Problem solved." Avian said as debris and ash fell around the cruiser. "Now let's get the hell out of here before reinforcments show up." He replied shifting the cruiser into lightspeed away from planet Doom. Lotor and the others breathed a sigh of relief as they sped away.
"Set cordinates for Namoria." Genar said.
"Got it." Avian replied.
On Namoria, Leena paced back and fourth in the control center. She didn't pace as a man would, simply walking from one side to the other. She walked all over the room looking around and playing with her hair. It was a nervous habit she'd had since childhood. Several maids would try to talk her into perhaps relaxing in the garden or in her bedroom, but the princess would not be moved. They could see the worry in her gold cat like eyes and the continuous twitching of her hands as she walked. She stopped suddenly when she heard Genar's voice over the intercom.
"Leena, we've found him. We've found your father. We're on route to Namoria and should be there by nightfall."
"Genar! You've found him? He's alive? Is he all right?" She asked frantically.
"He's right here Leena. I'll let you talk to him." Genar answered.
"Leena! Leena are you all right?" Danzar asked trying to keep his emotions at bay.
"Yes! Father is that really you?" Leena cried as tears of joy began to pour from her eyes.
"It's me. I'm coming home Leena. I'm finally coming home." Danzar answered trying to hold back his own tears.
"Father! I knew one day you would return! I knew it! Grandfather Keltor told me you would!" Leena exclaimed.
"Leena, there's someone else coming home with me." Danzar said.
"Who father? Who is coming with you?" Leena asked trying to calm herself down.
"Your twin brother."